As I did last year, here’s my review of things in the world of
Gozer Antinous, the Aedicula Antinoi, and the Ekklesía Antínoou for the year of 2013. I have some regrets (which I’ll address below), but there were certainly also some triumphs. In an order that doesn’t really mean much, other than that if it appears in this list, I consider it an “extremely good thing” that said event occurred, I now present the top ten such events of the past year.
10. Story-Eyed Youth podcast. In early September, I appeared on Conor O’Bryan Warren’s “Story-Eyed Youth” podcast (available here), and while it was a shorter conversation than I would have preferred (I really need an hour to feel like I’ve properly said “Hello!”), nonetheless it was enjoyable, and the conversation went in directions I wasn’t expecting. I like Conor, and look forward to many further good things from him in the future, and it was a chance not often afforded us in the modern online polytheist communities: getting to know someone from online better via voice-to-voice contact. I wish there was more of that (though I far prefer person-to-person direct in-the-same-section-of-space contact), and hope to engage in more of it in the future with many of you that I don’t yet know, as well as others who I am acquainted with to some extent or another. (Meeting in person with Aine Llewellyn also falls into that category, so I’ll add that meeting here as a further example of such!)
9. Hera, Hephaistos, and Disability anthologies. My one big regret about 2013 is that, despite my best intentions and some concerted efforts towards this goal, I did not publish a single monograph this year, which is down from my previous three years, in which I published at least one book per year (and, once, three!). However, that isn’t to say I have not been busily writing and submitting things all the same, and while I am still awaiting publication on a large number of things which have been submitted in previous years or during 2013, nonetheless there were some successes in this regard over the year where anthologies are concerned. There was my pieces in harnessing Fire, for Hephaistos, and also my pieces in Queen of Olympos, for Hera and Juno. There were also further publications that I have not yet received, including one that just came out today: Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities & Illness, edited by Tara “Masery” Miller, and just earlier today, Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, ed. Literata Hurley, in which I have two pieces of fiction. The folks at Neos Alexandria’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina have been very busy, and so I thank them for these further opportunities to present my work in honor of the gods and other divine beings that I serve. (The Hera, Hephaistos, and disability anthologies kind of had something of a “theme” going when considered together, since Hera is Hephaistos’ mother, and Hephaistos is a disabled deity, and I wrote specifically about each matter in those two anthologies…but, oh well!) I look forward to getting some of these books in-hand soon, and will post about them when I do. If you want to know more about the disability anthology, I also did an interview conducted by the editor on the matter. I do hope to have a book or two out in the next two months, and maybe as many as six or seven new ones by the end of the year for 2014! We shall see…
8. Wyrd Ways Radio podcast. In early May, during the Floralia, I made an appearance on Galina Krasskova’s Wyrd Ways Radio show, in those days of yore before Sannion was the co-host of it. That recording is available here. And speaking of the Sannionian One, he just posted an archive of the Wyrd Ways Radio shows for 2013, which is very sporting of him because I have not heard several of these episodes! (Now I know what I’ll be doing when I have a few moments for diversion over the next week!) I called in on other occasions as well, when there were other guests or foci of the show, including that in which Michael Routery appeared; but, the one that certainly takes the cake for me in that regard was the show in honor of Sancta Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson, which you can hear here, and of which it was a true honor to be a part.
7. Esoteric Book Conference. I posted about my thoughts on this here as well as on The Wild Hunt blog here. Like #10 above, this is a great opportunity to meet, speak with, and just generally be around many people that I like, both of older acquaintance as well as new, and both were amply attested in 2013′s gathering. Especially wonderful were the presentations of and my discussions with M. Isidora Forrest and Aaron Cheak. I’m already planning to propose a session for 2014, and will be attending it whether I present or not, in any case, so I hope to meet many of you there next September!
6. Witches & Pagans article. Speaking of Aaron Cheak, I mentioned my own article on “Deification by Drowning” here, during the Sacred Nights of Antinous. It had long been my intention to get something published in this particular periodical, given that it has a much wider circulation amongst modern pagans than any of my own publications. The article featured information on–amongst others–Palaimon/Melikertes, Tiberinus, and Antinous…though I am now regretful that I also didn’t include a section on Virbius, for example. Alas…However, I am happy with the article itself, and am glad that a somewhat wider context for Antinous’ worship is now available to modern pagans who don’t want to read my blog, my column, or my books.
Now, you’ll notice that the top 5 matters I’ve listed are rituals and holy day observances…which should indicate something about my thinking on these matters and their importance!
5. Antinous Epiphanes and Solstice. On the Winter Solstice, during the wider festivals of Saturnalia and Heliogenna, I posted on what I think is the most theologically significant development in relation to Antinous this year, involving his syncretistic connections to not only Dionysos, but also to Harpocrates. Even better, I was able to celebrate the occasion with some actual other humans! Such occasions keep me warm until the next time they can occur, and this one will certainly last me a while…though I hope it is not over-long until I again have the pleasure of the company of others for a ritual celebration. (There’s ample opportunity in January, certainly!)
4. Communalia with House Thyrsatrae. After having known my Anomalous Thracian colleague for a few years, we finally did the deed and
made an honest Ekklesía of ourselves enacted the Communalia ritual with House Thyrsatrae the day after PantheaCon in February of this year. I hope to enact this ritual again with a variety of groups and their representative individuals in the years to come…and perhaps we’ll make progress on that matter in 2014 when the opportunities arise.
3. Foundation Day 2013. Again, this was an excellent in-person ritual, far better than that of 2012 because it actually included other people (!?!), and was the culmination of a particularly intense and productive observance of the Sacred Nights of Antinous, which featured the nine-part poem “Nine Days Along the Nile” (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, and part 9). To be able to read that poem within ritual, along with many other compositions I’ve made to sing, speak, and pray to Antinous over the years, with others also taking part in doing so (both old friends and co-religionists as well as new ones), is a treasure beyond estimation in my view. It was also the last time we had Erynn Rowan Laurie in ritual space with us in the Seattle area–and though I know she’ll be back, and is doing well in Italy now, nonetheless, it was the “end of an era,” too.
2. Floralia. As so many have said before, the difference between “A-ha!” and “Duh!” is often rather smaller than we’d prefer, and I’d cite the occasion of the Floralia this year as a bit of both, because it not only involved having an outdoor ritual at a place that has always been sacred to me–Mt. Erie–but it was specifically a ritual involving nature in various ways, and was one I was able to share with others, too. This is the first time I’ve marked the Floralia, but it’s one I’ll never forget, and has been added to the calendar for the future. Further details of the multi-day observances here, here, here, here, here, and here.
1. The Tetrad++ Ritual at PantheaCon. I explained in March what had happened during our “Trans Deities For All: Meeting the Tetrad” ritual at PantheaCon (though the “+”s were not yet added at the time!), i.e. the birth of the final member of the Tetrad++ Group, Panprosdexia. The following month, I shared one version of their story. I hope to have that poem, as well as the one on Paneris (whose birth festival is tomorrow!), and a few other matters published in a book in the not-too-distant future, the title of which will be From All-Strife to All-Acceptance: Further TransMythologies; and, I also at last have the title for what the “Grand Grimoire of the Tetrad++” will be called, which will combine that book and the previous one together, with some new things as well: TransGenerations: The Cycle of the Tetrad++. It’s an exciting and humbling thing to be present for the birth of a deity, and I’ve had that pleasure three different times now–I’m lucky beyond belief because of it.
What, seriously, could top that?
Other events of note during 2013 included my participation in two OLOTEAS events: Skiing the Magical Bunny Slope in April, and Concentric Circles in September; and the S. J. Tucker event at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in July. It’s certainly no diminishment to any of the organizations, events, or individuals involved therein that they didn’t make the top 10, it’s only that the things which I feel most advanced the visibility and devotion of Antinous this year were the above 10 things. I am grateful to have taken part in the OLOTEAS events, and hope more of that also occurs in the future, since they are directly local to me (sort of…!?!).
Now, notice something about the above list: in-person practice trumps everything, including theological developments. And, there are lots of things that happened, and that drew a HUGE amount of attention to this blog in various ways, that I did not mention in the above countdown. 2013 was a year of a huge number of controversies amongst modern polytheists and other pagans, and I don’t think that will subside in 2014. I’m quite certain I’ll be posting more about it in the future, but it is good to be reminded what the purpose of this blog is, where the heart of my practice and attentions lie, and what is truly the most important when it comes to the life of a modern devotional polytheist.
I hope your 2013 was excellent, that 2014 will be better in all the ways that 2013 was deficient, and that what was good in 2013 is only improved by this time in 2014 for all of you!
The blessings of Antinous and Hadrian and Sabina, Polydeukion and Memnon and Achilles, Herodes Attikos and Appia Annia Regilla, Lucius Marius Vitalis, and the Tetrad++ Group–Panpsyche, Panhyle, Paneros, Pancrates, Paneris, and Panprosdexia–be upon all of you this day and every day!